Bazzelle, who has won three straight City League diving titles, is readying for his third trip to the Class 6A meet in Topeka on Friday and Saturday.
“When I came into high school my freshman year, I thought I would play football and wrestle like any other stereotypical athlete. When I got to school, I made the decision to play soccer and when wrestling came around, I picked diving over wrestling, just to do something different.”
“I kind of came into the first day of practice and we would play around on the diving board and have fun. By the end of my first season, I was doing doubles. There’s so much to learn, so much form and technique that I was completely unaware of when I signed up.”
“There’s a lot of dry land work that you can do. Before we even got on the boards, it’s called a dry approach. You don’t enter the water. You can work on kickouts before you get on the board or in the air. Running through your steps in your mind and on the ground. You know what you’re doing when you get up there.”
“It’s fun, that’s kind of why I joined. Once you get into it, there’s adventure and excitement because you’re learning new flips. you flip half a rotation more, you learn a twist.
“There is a fear aspect. You get nervous. For me, the big dive to be nervous about is anything back. Back dive my freshman year was nervewracking. It’s a fairly simple dive, but going backward, it’s intimidating.”
“I’d like to medal. I want to be in the top four. There are two guys I dove with last year, and they’re both pretty good. As far as I know, they’re the only competition to be super-focused on.”
“We kind of do feel like we’re not as much a part of the swim team. Obviously we practice with a different coach, at a different school. We’re technically part of the swim team, but a lot of our meets aren’t the same day. We compete the night before. It’s just a part of diving not being very well recognized.”